Donington Park Loses Dunlop Landmark
Work to convert Donington Park into a Formula One circuit is underway, and a casualty of the transformation has been the famous Dunlop Bridge. On February 12 – a day described as ‘historic’ by Donington Park chairman Simon Gillett – the week long effort to remove the structure began, and piece-by-piece three decades of motorsport history was taken down.
“As a motorsport enthusiast, I am sorry to see the Dunlop Bridge come down,” said Gillett. “However, it is an iconic structure that has become an integral part of Donington Park. I will do everything in my power to ensure that we are able to resite the bridge within the circuit.” It has been suggested that the Bridge could be relocated to the circuit’s entrance.
According to Goodyear Dunlop spokesman James Bailey, the company’s sponsorship of events at Donington Park will continue, bridge or no bridge. “Dunlop’s relationship with Donington is as strong as ever, with Dunlop continuing to support both the Great and British Motorsport Festival in July and the British Touring Car Championship round in May,” he said. “We still have Dunlop bridges at other circuits around the world, including the famous Le Mans bridge, and we hope to work with Donington to preserve this iconic piece of motorsport history.”
The removal of the bridge is seen by many as the end of an era, and the word ‘iconic’ is being thrown about in the media like a basketball at a primary school sports day. Employees at the circuit have expressed their fond memories of the bridge, however head of track security Thomas Lloyd perhaps wins the prize for the most surreal recollection of the landmark structure. “I’ve been here 19 years and it has a lot of memories for me,” he commented. “I won’t miss having to make plans in case someone wearing a Batman suit gets on the bridge during a race though.”